Remembering a friend and colleague

Published 7:12 am Sunday, August 2, 2015

This week, our Park and Recreation Department must say goodbye to a long-time friend and colleague.

Valerie Pitzen was our recreation supervisor from 1986 to March of 2015. She has lost her battle with cancer and will forever be in our hearts.

 Nature Center

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Stop out to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and enjoy the free summer senior program featuring Al Batt at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. The tour theme will be “Experience nature on the trails with Al Batt and the Nature Center Staff.”

Did you know paddling canoes and kayaks offer great exercise? Paddling will act as both an aerobic form of exercise as well as a great workout for your back, abs, and arms, information from: December 2013; Give it a try by renting a canoe or kayak from the nature center and paddle to East Side Lake down Dobbins Creek.

If you are not sure, you can paddle on the pond right in the center. Canoes and kayaks are available Monday – Saturday through Sept. 26 on a first come first served basis. You must be 16 and older, younger children must be accompanied by an adult. Rental rates are $10 for up to three hours per canoe or kayak. You may also purchase a punch card for $25 which will get you 5 rentals.

 Viewing the stars

The August viewings at the Sola Fide Observatory will be held the 15th and 22nd at 9 p.m. There will be volunteers present to assist the public in viewing the heavenly bodies for these free programs. From Interstate 90, take Highway 218 South two and a half miles to County Road 28. Turn right (west) one mile to the stop sign, then turn left (south) on County Road 29 for one and a half miles to 180th Street. Turn right and go west for a quarter of a mile. The driveway is on the right. Happy star gazing.

 Swimming pool

The week of the Mower County Fair our open swim pool hours at the Municipal Pool will change to the following: 1 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 10; 1 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 open and Sunday remains the same at 2 to 7 p.m. Daily admission is $3 per person, ages 2 and under are free.

 Car show

Coming up on Aug. 15, the River Rats Car Club present the Veteran’s Memorial Car Show in Lafayette Park on Main Street South. Show proceeds will be donated to the Austin Area Foundation to help support our local veterans to get their names on the veteran memorial wall or paver.

There will be a 21-gun salute to open and close the show, which lasts from 1 to 4 p.m. Other items will include a silent auction, children’s games, bounce house, climbing wall provided by the National Guard and live music. Food and refreshments will also be available.

 Fall Kids Fest

Park and Recreation will participate in the Fall Kids Fest which will be held at Horace Austin Park located between the Municipal Pool and the back side of the Library.

Fall Kids Fest is a free community event hosted by the YMCA. Watch for more information on who else will be there with their fall information.